After clearing waivers the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday removed Chin-Hui Tsao from the 40-man roster and outrighted him to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Los Angeles now has 37 players on their 40-man roster.
Tsao has enough Major League service time to refuse the Minor League assignment and become a free agent. Had Tsao remained on the Dodgers’ roster, he was eligible for salary arbitration. The right-hander appeared in just two games during May with the Dodgers before suffering a triceps injury that cost him the remainder of the 2016 season.
Tsao threw a scoreless inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, then struggled in an appearance against the San Diego Padres.
Tsao entered in the 11th inning of a tied game at Petco Park and allowed a leadoff single. He retired the next two batters but then walked the bases loaded and walked in the winning run.
Two days later the 31-year-old was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right triceps strain. Tsao was later transferred to the 60-day DL when Layne Somsen was claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees.
Prior to joining the Dodgers, Tsao went 1-1 with six saves, a 3.31 ERA, five walks and 14 strikeouts in 16.1 innings over 17 games for Oklahoma City.
He made an improbable return to the Majors two seasons ago, having last pitched for the Dodgers in 2007. Tsao appeared in five games in 2015 and allowed nine runs (eight earned) on 15 hits, including three home runs, over seven innings.
Tsao was 1-1 with a 10.29 ERA, 7.99 FIP, 2.57 WHIP, seven strikeouts and three walks. Tsao’s inflated ERA was a byproduct of allowing six runs in 0.2 innings in a blowout loss to the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 25. Tsao otherwise allowed just two runs over his four other appearances.